When Cancer Joins You For Father’s Day


This post is an excerpt from Don Kerr’s awesome book Riding Shotgun.

Special occasions, whether genuine or Hallmark holidays, can be challenging when cancer finds a place at the table.  I wrote the following piece on Father’s Day about 2 years after my wife Kate’s diagnosis with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer.

One of the key messages I adamantly stress to male caregivers is this – you have a choice to make at the outset of your partner’s diagnosis and one which will be revisited often as you progress through treatment. That choice is this – will you show up?

Sounds simple doesn’t it?

It’s not and there are many marriages that fail when cancer comes calling. Apart from exposing your partners to the rigours of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and whatever else she may require, cancer will expose every frailty that may exist in your relationship.

When you decide to show up you make a commitment to hang in there regardless and when it comes to your one special day of the year – Father’s Day – you may have to adopt a much different outlook.

 Mr. Mom’s Father’s Day

Samuel & Gabriel Kerr, 2013

This is turning out to be a really great day. Enhanced by the pure joy of my boys. Marred only by the absence of my wife. But then again, made joyful as she is in England spending some well-deserved away time with her best friend in the world…

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